Tuesday, March 4, 2014
The title of Chéreau’s devastating 1998 melodrama is adapted from filmmaker François Reichenbach, who insisted on being buried in a small town hundreds of miles from Paris. The film’s large, crisis-torn cast of characters are also taking the train to a funeral—that of the self-described “very minor late-20th-century master” painter Jean-Baptiste Emmerich (Jean-Louis Trintignant). The guests include Jean-Baptiste’s nephew (Charles Berling), trapped in a failing marriage; the painter’s ex-lover François (Pascal Greggory), who fears he’s about to lose his current lover; and a mysterious transgender woman (Vincent Pérez) with a surprising past. Once they arrive at the late man’s estate, their fragile peace quickly crumbles under the weight of old tensions and new revelations. With its panoramic scope and its sympathy for the plight of the excluded and abused—even when they’re pitted against one another—Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train is one of Chéreau’s most empathetic and moving films. Print courtesy of Institut Français, Paris.